chapter  6
29 Pages

Empúries

The site of Empúries,1 located about 60 miles north of Barcelona, provides an unparalleled opportunity for comparing the use of street space with the other three case-study cities because it was in fact a double city. The earliest part of the site was a Greek colony to which the Romans later added their own adjoining colony. The Greek colony, known as Neapolis, is the most thoroughly excavated part of the site and offers the best archaeological evidence for the types of analysis outlined in the previous chapters. The use of the street network in Neapolis could hardly differ more from the other cities examined so far. The Roman colony at Empúries, known as the Ciudad Republicana or Ciudad Romana, stands near Neapolis and the two parts of the site were eventually joined to form a united city. Therefore they share the same topography, climate, government structure, legal system, and history. Despite the fact that all of these variables were the same, it appears that the use of street space in the Ciudad Romana differs completely from Neapolis, but is very similar to the general patterns outlined for Pompeii, Ostia, and Silchester. With the explanation of other temporal and contextual variables neutralized, we must conclude that the differences in the use of street space between Neapolis and the Ciudad Romana, and the similarities between the Ciudad Romana and the other sites explored in the previous chapters, are a result of cultural preferences. Primary streets, secondary streets, a central forum, and plazas are a Roman conception.